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Noel

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Reply with quote  #1 
... weak dancers try to get strong by holding other dancers down.

So, if you're feeling the sentiment I thought I'd ask for all to participate in this "pull up challenge".

As one year is ending and another is beginning what one sentence of your experience would you hand down to someone who has not yet walked in your shoes? It might be helpful to remind others what age or stage your dancer (s) is at currently.

I'll start:

DD, 10, just transitioning to traditional ballet training from competition factory training. My sentence:

Be persistent in educating yourself about as much of what your child is involved in as you can stand; never assume that what your are being told is truly the whole story, investigate it for yourself.

(This challenge is not meant to be entirely about behavior; a different example that I could have used for this have been more practical, "KT tape applied over an itchy spot on a costume can make irritating seams or scratchy fabric disappear and will stay in place despite vigorous activity or sweating... and it comes in flesh type colors to make it disappear." )
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Phx115

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Reply with quote  #2 
YOU are paying them! Do not be afraid to approach DTs and/or SOs EARLY ON if your gut is telling you something is off. I find keeping quiet about the big issues just leads to a negative attitude, resentment, and a miserable year.

ETA: DD turned 11 in April and is at a ballet-focused studio, with a very, very small competition team.
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hsealover

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Reply with quote  #3 
DD is 14 and switched mid season to a different competition team and returned to her ballet school.

My sentence would be: Listen to your gut; if your gut says something is off, then usually there is.
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dance010

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Reply with quote  #4 
DD 19 at a comp studio, just started winning big and scoring well with her solos this season. 

HARD WORK beats everything else. It will pay off at some point, don't be afraid to put yourself out there and see what opportunities come your way!
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SLPmama

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Reply with quote  #5 
Keep pace with your dancer's goals. If this is a hobby, then consider that when you devote time and money. Don't try to keep up with the Joneses, especially if their dancer's goals are different than your dancer's.
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dancemonkey

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Reply with quote  #6 
It's not about winning trophies. It's about training and friends. I agree with SLPmama every dancers goals are different. Your 10 year old daughter will be much different than your 18 year old daughter and by sophomore year in high school all the drama will have played out. I hope your at a studio that gives you a life long love of dance. At our studio we graduate anywhere from 4 to 12 dancers. Most of them dance in college and some are persuing some sort of professional performing arts careers. Either way to me it is about their lifelong friendships. *mom to senior and a graduate.
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #7 
I saw this quote this week-end:  "Do not let something bother you for five minutes that won't bother you in five years." 
Keep this in mind, because it's perfect when dealing with the ridiculous dance drama.......

This one is from me- NO ONE cares how many trophies Suzie won.  No colleges care and certainly no professional companies care. Please worry about your own kid and don't worry about others  - where they place, what level they are in - none of it applies to your kid's dance journey.  Let it go.  Get the best possible training for your kid.
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #8 
Every time I see the title of this thread I'm tempted, and now I'm giving in.  I don't think it is possible to pull weaker dancers up to your level.  You can lead by example, and you can possibly help another dancer who isn't getting it, but you just can't control the behavior of others.  


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5678StarMom

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggsmith
Every time I see the title of this thread I'm tempted, and now I'm giving in.  I don't think it is possible to pull weaker dancers up to your level.  You can lead by example, and you can possibly help another dancer who isn't getting it, but you just can't control the behavior of others.  




I rather agree. Not everyone can be the same "level" or have the same quality of dancing. Our strengths are in our differences sometimes. I'd rather not have my DDs strive to pull others to their level, but to treat everyone with kindness regardless of their dance ability. 
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Suzit42

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Reply with quote  #10 
I agree that it's impossible for a dancer to pull another dancer up by themselves. But you can inspire another dancer at any time. Just to follow what you are truly passionate about and don't be afraid to be proud about it. My DD18, was the only tap soloist for five years at her studio. I guarantee you that she worked as hard or even harder as her peeps who did the lyrical/contemporary/open route. But she was not rewarded in the same way for years. When the rewards did come, they were so much sweeter. The studio is still not Tap friendly. But there are two dancers who are Tap soloists now. And their Moms tell me that my kid is one of their kids inspirations. How cool is that?? My DD had one older Tap soloist as her inspiration. DD took her legacy and built on it. I am so excited to see what these other kids will do.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #11 
GG and 5678... it's a metaphor, not literally "level" but theoretically, with regards to character [wink] Basically it means don't think that you will come out ahead by trying to squash others with drive, reach out, give a hand (metaphorically), share your experience and you will come out stronger (in character) for it.
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5678StarMom

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel
GG and 5678... it's a metaphor, not literally "level" but theoretically, with regards to character [wink] Basically it means don't think that you will come out ahead by trying to squash others with drive, reach out, give a hand (metaphorically), share your experience and you will come out stronger (in character) for it.


Haha, I get it. I like the idea, but sometimes lots in dance may take the word level too literally, so not my favorite metaphor.
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #13 
Ah, like "don't stoop to their level."

That makes more sense to me!

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prancer

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Reply with quote  #14 
What I learned this year is that if you think you should change studios you probably should. No reason to linger and be dissatisfied. Find the better fit for you and don't look back!
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #15 
Good point 5678, never thought of it that way, but it makes perfect sense.
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggsmith
Every time I see the title of this thread I'm tempted, and now I'm giving in.  I don't think it is possible to pull weaker dancers up to your level.  You can lead by example, and you can possibly help another dancer who isn't getting it, but you just can't control the behavior of others.  




I get what you're saying and totally agree that a dancer has to do it themselves.  That being said, I saw DD do this at her new studio this past season.  She joined a tiny, start up studio.  There were 2 middle school girls who were ok dancers but had a lot to learn.  They (as often middle schoolers do) thought they were the best.  In walks my freshman dd who had a lot more dance training than they did.  The girls saw their featured roles (comments were overheard) start going to DD.  This caused them both to work harder and the progress they made was much more than I think they would have without the fire being lit.

Also, no one wanted to focus on ballet until they saw what ballet training did for dd. I'm interested in see if the interest in tap goes up this next year.  They currently don't train or compete tap but dd has previous tap experience that she doesn't want to lose.  She's doing a solo this next season.

All of this has made dd a more confident, stronger dancer.
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Dancingemu

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Reply with quote  #17 
All great advice! So much of what I've needed to hear as we've transitioned to a new studio. Wishing we'd done it a year or so earlier.

My dd is highly influenced by older dancers, which is part of our reason for moving. The girls at the previous studio weren't all the best role models, unhealthy habits and character. Hopefully my girl will become a positive role model with the new set of girls to look up to.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #18 
Dancingemu your posts have brought me so much support, too. A large part of moving my DD was for exactly what you are talking about. Hopefully we will both have wonderful insights from an exciting year ahead <3
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Bubbasmom

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Reply with quote  #19 
This too has been helpful as we are transitioning to a new studio as well. I have been talking to moms from old studio and they are telling me how awesome the everything is and how the new dances are going to be stellar, etc and I have to admit to second guessing myself. But as others have stated here, you have to listen to your gut. There were a lot of issues regarding lack of support from every area and I have to remember that and just move on.
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JustAnotherDanceMom7

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Reply with quote  #20 
One of my favorite quotes, to reinforce what others have said: "The moment that you start to wonder if you deserve better, you do."

My motto as of late:  There are other ways!  Comp dance is not the be all and end all of dance opportunity or training.  Absolutely question your SO when you feel the need - after all, the SO works for YOU, because as PP said, YOU PAY THEM!  Never be afraid to seek opportunities and avenues outside of the comp world that will help your dancer achieve their personal potential.  We have said goodbye to our studio that we've been with for 5 years because I finally opened my eyes and realized that while we have loved our experiences, it is time to move on.  The technique training is not there and I have been spending ridiculous amounts of money on ballet privates because she's not getting what she needs at the studio.  They forgo technique for cleaning comp dances.  And I am done with that - completely.  DD 13 will be at a ballet only studio, will do Millennium for drop ins in other styles and conventions when we can.  I can no longer be a slave to the studio comp schedule.  I am looking forward to some more flexibility and to some freedom, financially and personally! And my DD will still get to dance.  I call that winning!
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #21 
BubbasMom, I totally relate to the part about hearing what the old studio is doing and what it can do to you mentally. At least in our situation I know that no matter what they promise, no matter what small changes they may appear to make, the more they say they're growing and changing, the more they will stay exactly the same in all the worst ways. I know that in my gut and no amount of stellar choreography or isolated positive change will ever change that fact. Good luck as you move on this year.

JustAnotherDanceMom7, good for you for having the courage to walk away and to walk towards what will no doubt be an amazing experience.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #22 

I agree- good for you, @JustAnotherDanceMOm7. Dd did something similar, a ballet studio with drop in classes at a non-comp school when she could. 

The phrase we kept in mind when it was time (past time) for dd to leave her long time studio was "Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated." It was so refreshing to be in another environment where the faculty supported and believed in the students. 

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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom

I agree- good for you, @JustAnotherDanceMOm7. Dd did something similar, a ballet studio with drop in classes at a non-comp school when she could. 

The phrase we kept in mind when it was time (past time) for dd to leave her long time studio was "Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated." It was so refreshing to be in another environment where the faculty supported and believed in the students. 



A phrase that applies to pretty much everything in life.  Set high expectations.  Never settle.  For anything.... nor anyone.
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JustAnotherDanceMom7

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Reply with quote  #24 
Thanks, ladies.  I appreciate the support!  I just know that I made some of the biggest personal changes of my adult life in this past year, including a divorce, and my mindset the entire time was, "I know there is a better life, the life of my dreams, waiting for me on the other side of this."  That is now the approach I have taken to DD's dancing.  I don't know why it has been so hard to break free from the cult.  You DO feel like somehow your kid is missing out on something, even though you KNOW in your heart and gut, that the studio will never change intrinsically, even if externally there is some temporary new shine.  It's like those damn rhinestones - they look great when you first glue them on, but by the end of the season they're falling off and look like crap.  LOL.

Tendumom - I LOVE that phrase.  That was another motivating factor to break free from the comp studio.  DD could do pirouettes on the moon and would NEVER get a special part or be featured or even be so much as put in the front line by the SO.  She's just not her type of dancer.  Absolutely tolerated and only ever celebrated for how great of a team player she is  *roll eyes*.  I am also done paying for dances where DD is shoved in the back corner or for a production number where you can't even see her.  She consistently placed above dancers, older girls at the top of the teen division, who have been doing solos for years at our studio, all season.  Not that placement means anything, but one would think that after proving yourself in the classroom and at comps, you might earn a little something. She was still put in the back and the few bones that SO would throw her in terms of a leap pass or whatever, were taken away at the last minute.  I get it.  It's everywhere.  But, I don't have to participate in it.  I must say, we both feel so free!

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Noel

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Reply with quote  #25 
JustAnotherDanceMom, I feel like we left the same place, particularly when you called it a "cult". I had an eye opening experience reading Leah Remini's book, Troublemaker, while on vacation and most definitely the place that we left smacked of so many of the hallmarks of a cult. Scary.
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